Reducing Escherichia Coli O157 Risk in Rural Communities, 2007-2011



Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

This is a mixed method data collection. The study is part of the Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection is a very serious threat to human health. It can be devastating and sometimes fatal, and children and elderly people are at particular risk. Little is known about how it is spread in rural environments. This RELU project brought together an interdisciplinary group of researchers from a wide range of natural and social science disciplines to generate evidence on how to reduce the risk of human E.coli 0157 in UK rural communities. This was addressed through the following work packages:
WP 1a: Stakeholder perceptions of risk
WP 1b: Carriage and immunity data from key groups
WP 2: Infectivity of E. coli O157 in the environment
WP3: Risk assessment
WP4: New Social Science Data
WP5: Social acceptance and intervention
WP6: Policy formulation and dissemination

Further information and publications for this study may be found through the Relu Knowledge Portal: Reducing E. coli risk in rural communities

Main Topics:
The key objectives were to:
provide an understanding of the awareness, attitudes and behaviour of different stakeholder groups towards E. coli O157 risk in the environment;
ascertain and evaluate the persistence and asymptomatic carriage of E. coli O157 within the rural community;
ascertain the physiological state of E. coli O157 in agricultural environments and to determine the degree to which E. coli O157 released into the plant-soil and water environment is capable of (re)infecting cattle and humans;
formulate an initial suite of intervention and mitigation strategies to better manage E. coli O157 risk in rural areas;
determine the economic cost and social acceptability of initial risk management strategies amongst stakeholder groups;
produce a UK risk assessment map and policy-relevant strategies for the most viable management options for E. coli O157 amongst rural stakeholder groups

Demographics:National; WP1a) individuals from Grampian and north Wales drawn from key stakeholder groups: farmers, other rural residents, rural visitors and food chain workers; WP2) one genetically engineered strain of E. coli O157; soil types from Grampian and N Wales; temperatures; WP3) incidence of disease, risk factors describing food-borne, environmental and waterborne infection, efficacy of risk mitigation strategies WP5) experts and farmers
Date made available15 Apr 2019
PublisherUK Data Service
Date of data production1 Oct 2007 - 28 Feb 2011
Geographical coverageGrampian, Scotland ; North Wales

Funder and Grant Reference number

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • RES-229-25-0012

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